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AUDIT Arizona is a nonpartisan organization whose mission is to restore public ownership and oversight of elections, work to ensure the fundamental right of every American citizen to vote, and to have each vote counted as intended in a secure, transparent, impartial, and independently audited election process.Home
Thursday, June 22, 2006
Voters and Victories
Trying to ensure election integrity is long, hard-fought battle with too few victories. Today, we can happily report several strides voters' rights activists have made.
SB1557 passed the House 51-0 (9 not voting), then passed the Senate 25-3 (2 not voting). You may want to ask Ken Bennett, Toni Hellon, and Carolyn S. Allen why they were the only 3 who voted "no" on protecting our voting rights.
Representative Ted Downing was first and foremost in getting traction behind this bill, which originated with him as Primary Sponsor. Representative Downing worked with two incredibly hard working election intergrity activists, Tom Ryan and John Brakey. They have led the effort in Arizona to make sure every vote counts, sparked in part by a Republican primary in which one Republican candidate lost under very questionable circumstances. We would like to thank each of these men for their incredible leadership and dedication on behalf of all Arizona voters.
Additionally, we would like to praise and thank Senator Karen Johnson for sponsoring the bill in the Senate and serving as an instrumental leader in helping this bill move from committee to a passing vote, working with Pima County Elections department as well as the other legislators to make this legislation a reality.
The bill has been described by Maricopa County Election director Karen Osborn as “one of the most significant election reforms bills in decades”.
VoteTrustUSA has an article on the bill with a bit of history on why Democrats and Republicans in the legislature both feel this is an important issue.
The other victory, is in the added media attention these serious issues are getting. Lou Dobbs, Rolling Stone, Newsweek and several other news organizations are now writing about the issue. Blake Morlock wrote an interesting piece in the Arizona Daily Star regarding the Diebold TSX voting machines Pima County will be getting...unless Pima County Supervisors Ann Day, Sharon Bronson, and Ramon Valadez get enough public outcry to get them to change their votes.
Tucson hosted an Election Integrity Teach-in recently, to an audience of about 100 citizens. Jim March from Black Box Voting showed all in attendance how easy it was to hack the system and flip votes.
Beyond the fact the machines are so unreliable and easy to hack, why any board that is supposed to represent the Arizona residents' best interests would contract for over $2 million with a company that has been sued by its own investors is beyond comprehension.
Do they like throwing our money away and destroying the accuracy of our vote? No, more likely it was pressure from the Secretary of State's office, Diebold lobbyist threats and the Pima County Attorneys office advisement, that led to this incredibly poor decision. Keep contacting Ann Day, Sharon Bronson, and Ramon Valadez regarding their "yes" votes and the impact it wil have on clean, secure elections.
Don't forget to contact Governor Janet Napolitano and ask her to sign the bill SB1557 into law ASAP in time for the September 12th primaries.